Engineering Now .: Volume 4 - Edition 7 .: April 2008

Ph.D. student makes news for work on Confederation Bridge

Civil Engineering Ph.D. student Bilal Bakht appeared in several news sources in April, including CBC television and for his work on Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Bridge. Bilal was in PEI for several days, performing some experiments designed to understand the interaction between the wind conditions on the bridge and driveability issues with high-sided vehicles.

Bilal, who is affiliated with the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, was measuring the vibrations on two high-sided vehicles – a transport truck and a motor coach – as they traveled across the bridge. The purpose was to gain a better understanding of how wind speed impacts larger vehicles, so that more accurate safety guidelines can be established.

The current policy sees the bridge closed to truck traffic and certain other vehicles when wind speeds reach 70km/hr. But this creates a problem as it prevents the free flow of goods and materials to and from the island. With no real onsite testing done before on Confederation Bridge, it is hoped that Bilal’s work will give bridge officials a better set of guidelines to follow around when the bridge is safe to travel across.

Read the press release from Confederation Bridge authorities.

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.: Becky Blue
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808